by Mark Belair


I found kinship


in a traffic light

that cycled

all night

in the deserted


outside my motel.


Years later, in a soft evening rain,

I found it again

in an overstretched

black garbage bag


by a dark restaurant.


Then late in life, when I spied

an old, disused subway car

in a dimly lit corner

of the train lot

at the end of the line,

and saw

how its splashes of graffiti

made it seem simultaneously

assaulted and beautiful,

I had to admit

that its grace was something

to see—if apart from me.


Mark Belair’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Poetry East. His latest collection is Watching Ourselves (Unsolicited Press, 2017). Previous collections include Breathing Room; Night Watch; While We’re Waiting; and Walk With Me. Please visit

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